Cardiff

[ Photo Blog #45 ]

Cardiff Waterfront

CARDIFF is the capital city of WALES.  It has a very long and fascinating history.  Today I just want to give a brief mention to its waterfront, an area which in recent years has been developed into an attractive and intriguing area with many new buildings, shops, galleries, sculptures and visitor attractions.

The harbour at Cardiff Bay is situated on the Southern coast of Wales, UK.  It has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world (up to 14m).  This meant that at low tide it was inaccessible for up to 14 hours a day.  However, the Cardiff Bay Barrage was completed in 1999, enabling the creation of a a vast freshwater lake (500 acres) and the development of what is now known as Cardiff Waterfront.  Here can be found the Welsh Assembly Government buildings, the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, the Pierhead Building, Techniquest Centre, the Senedd or Welsh Assembly Building, Butetown History and Arts Centre, the 2000 Lightship, the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, al-fresco cafes, restaurants, and public works of art, giving a truly cosmopolitan feel to the City.

It was here, in the Norwegian seamen’s church, that Roald Dahl and his brothers and sisters, of Norwegian descent but  born in Cardiff, were all christened.  This central area of the Cardiff Waterfront is now named Roald Dahl Plass and is the site of many of the city’s greatest events.

The links between Cardiff and Norwegian seamen date back to the coal boom when Scandinavian ships brought timber for pit props and returned home laden with coal. Churches like this with its attractive white clapboard cladding and pointy spire were built to serve the Norwegian sailors who docked here. Today the restored church features an interesting gallery and a friendly café.

The photographs are by me, taken on a visit to the city several years ago . . .

 

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Model of Cardiff Waterfront

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The Norwegian Church

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Commerative photograph of a portrait of Roald Dahl in the Interior of the Norwegian Church

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Commemorative plaque on the naming of Roald Dahl Plass

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The Pierhead Building

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The Wales Millennium Centre

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A bronze of an immigrant couple symbolising the arrival of many to Tiger Bay seeking a better life in Britain.

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Female Beastie Bench – Cardiff Bay, Sculpted bench in brick  ‘My Beautiful City of Cardiff’

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The 2000 Lightship, a Christian centre funded by Associated British Ports and Cardiff council – now re-sited

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Stained glass Portholes on the Lightship

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Dublin, City of a Thousand Welcomes

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Dublin has many such beautiful doorways dating from the Georgian period

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This one photo is from Pinterest – the others are all my own

Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a beautiful city.  It is an absolute delight to wander around the lush green parks and open spaces, especially on a sunny afternoon.  My first visit, many years ago, was in torrential rain.  A lorry driver who generously gave a lift, southwards from the city, to two itinerant hitch-hikers, welcomed us with the comment, “Ireland is beautiful – just needs a bloody great umbrella over it”.  My second and third visits were in delightful sunshine which showed off the city’s exquisite Georgian architecture and its many monuments and statues to great advantage.  I add below a gallery of photographs taken during my last visit in 2010 …

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Sea approach to Dublin Harbour

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The Aviva Stadium – formerly Landsdowne Road Stadium – venue for major rugby and football matches

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Church Of Ireland.   Founded in 1191, its 43 metres high spire makes it the tallest church in Ireland.

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Ivy covered Georgian Terrace houses

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Georgian-style Bay Windows

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Front façade of St.Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre

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Memorial Stone in St.Stephen’s Green Park, to Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa,  (1831-1915) a former Fenian Leader.

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Statue in St. Stephen’s Green Park, to Wolfe Tone a leading figure of the Irish Independence Movement

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The Papal Cross in Phoenix Park commemorates the Pope’s visit to Dublin in 1979  

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The Wellington Testimonial Obelisk in Phoenix Park.  Arthur Wellesley, ‘The Iron Duke’, general and politician, was born in Ireland.

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CLYTIE

 

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Pen & Ink Drawing of George Frederick Watts’ sculpted bust of CLYTIE . . .  by W.H.B.

 In the verses below, I attempt to express Clytie’s plight when she finds her love for the Son God, Helios, rejected, and she is committed to watch his daily flight across the heavens in his winged chariot .  Eventually she is transformed into a sunflower or heliotrope , condemned for ever to follow the sun’s movements across the sky.

CLYTIE

As dusk takes over from the day
I stand on Helios’ shore and weep.
Light for my soul,
Lust for my life;
These no more can I strive to keep.

Yet there is hope because the night
Is followed by expectant day.
The sun will rise
With hope intact,
And I’ll revive my destined way.

The languid sun will lift at dawn
Over the shimmering tranquil sea.
It is my dreams,
My Holy Grail,
And promises new hopes to me.

The sun renews its daily task.
As Clytie, I still strive to meld
Lovers’ aubade,
Their serenade.
With this till dusk my life is held.

Time’s chariot, its path I trace;
Helios arcs across the sky.
Till evening ends
In blood red  gore,
And once again I die.

But then again the cycle breaks
When dawn extends to dusk its kiss.
It’s carmine clinch,
Crimson caress,
Herald again life’s feud with bliss.

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Sunset over the Bristol Channel from Ilfracombe, Devon, U.K.   . . .   Photograph by W.H.B.


NOTES:

The three pictures below (click to enlarge) are  of: 

Helios in his chariot, early 4th century BC,  Athena’s temple, Ilion
‘Clytie’ … Painting by George Frederick Watts
‘Sculpted bust of ‘Clytie’ by Watts
Many of G.F.Watts’s paintings and sculptures can be seen at the Watts Gallery, created in is old home in Compton, a village near Guildford, in Surrey, UK.


Further Notes from:   http://www.greekmythology.com/
‘As an Oceanid, a water nymph, CLYTIE was the daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys.  She was the lover of the sun god Helios. who eventually deserted her to pursue Leucothea, daughter of Orchamus.  Clytie was enraged and told Orchamus about the love affair. He sentenced his daughter to death by burying her alive.  Clytie thought that the death of Leucothea would make Helios return to her, but it only made him think even less of her.  In the end, Clytie lay herself naked for nine days on the rocks, simply staring at the sun as it crossed the sky each day, without drinking or eating anything.  On the ninth day, she was transformed into a flower, the heliotrope or turnsole, which turns towards the direction of the sun.   

Helios is known as the ‘sun god’ – who drives the sun’s chariot across the sky each day.